Northern California Wedding Planner | The Good Stuff

In the thick of wedding season, it could be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of email inboxes, layouts, to-do lists and budgets .. but the special moments when couples get a little watery in the eyes thinking of their ceremony details or when they see their engagement photos come back; that’s the good stuff!

Photo by  AVH Photography

You see, it is so personal and special to be a part of this experience with our couples. We are there for the big decisions down to the smallest of the details, the phone calls and texts with advice and support through every planning milestone. Even for the couples who book with us a few months out before their wedding after they have made the majority of the decisions, realize the benefit to having someone to advocate on their behalf while bringing the details together in the final weeks.

We find ourselves telling our couples how fast the wedding day truly will fly by and we want to help them enjoy every moment of it. So the more we can do to take your focus off of the “stuff” and put it back on your experience, and being present with your fiance, friends & family - that’s what matters most.

wild-native-photography_amanda-emilio_the530bride

When we meet with our couples and potential clients we will be able to help you prioritize the details that will actually impact your day and streamline the rest. Our goal is to also make sure that all of the event partners who are a part of your day (photographer, videographer, hair & make-up, transportation, florist, caterer, DJ and venue for example) are all set up for success as well. This helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you know the details are handled!

Sometimes the biggest impact of all, is the ability for the parents of the couple and their immediate family to be able to relax and know that everything is in place for the big day which allows them to be able to relax and enjoy as well. This sweet note below is from a bride’s mom at a recent wedding and it touched our hearts:

Dear Veronica, Thank you so much for all of your guidance & help to make Jade & Mark’s wedding perfect for them! You were the super glue that held it all together. Also, holding my peace of mind in check with your amazing timeline. Anxiety comes from fear of the unknown. When we organize our plans & see it in writing, it helps so much. You came into our lives quickly, but made a long lasting impression. So grateful you helped Jade navigate the dog situation and went above & beyond in delivering our leftovers to our home. The 530 Bride is amazing!
— Julie A.

So no matter how close you are to your wedding date we hope you will consider having a wedding planner or wedding management/coordination team support you. If we are booked, we are always happy to provide recommendations of local and reputable planners who will do an amazing job for you.

~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | The Design Process

We’ve been meeting with a lot of amazing engaged couples who are interested in learning more about the design process and how a wedding planner can help. These days with Pinterest and Instagram, couples can feel overloaded with designs and it can be difficult to hone in on the right aesthetic for their day. Afterall, a wedding you see on Pinterest in an entirely different setting, time of year, and budget might not align with what works for you in your specific wedding venue space.

Photo by  Diane Nicole Photography , showroom featured WeDo Designs

Photo by Diane Nicole Photography, showroom featured WeDo Designs

First things first, let’s chat about how you want your day to feel. What do you want your guests to experience and what do you want your memories of your day to be? If the custom menu cards and extensive signage details are important to you then we would shift to looking to create a very cohesive approach to your wedding. On the other-hand if you are focused on the lighting, food & entertainment to drive the guest experience then we would allocate more of your budget to making the guest experience more focal to what they will be interacting with.

We all love pretty wedding details, and it is always a great idea to start narrowing down the colors that you want to incorporate into your design. A spring or fall wedding can look very different for each wedding so we really want to pull together a palette that feels just right.

Photo by  Diane Nicole Photography , showroom featured WeDo Designs

Photo by Diane Nicole Photography, showroom featured WeDo Designs

Then we take inspiration from your Pinterest and source local items to give you a similar look but still customizing to your wedding. We’ll attend a design meeting with you to go over rentals & decor items and then put together a mock table set-up. Once the mock table set-up is approved we move on to creating your site plan, in certain settings where space is limited we want to double check that we are utilizing the space and creating a great flow for guests.

floorplanvisual3.jpeg
floorplanvisual2.jpeg

As we get closer we can adjust with changes and update your design details, then we’ll work with all of your vendors to ensure that no detail is missed!

Do you have questions about the design process? If you are feeling like you could use a little more help with pulling your design together while staying on budget, be sure to reach out to us and we would be happy to chat!

~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Newly Engaged - Top F.A.Q's

If you’re secretly reading this at work while your boss is away - we get it, the excitement of being engaged is sort of distracting so you are starting to try to get the ball rolling with your wedding plans. We’re going to cruise through the top frequently asked questions from newly engaged couples!

One of our favorite engagement sessions by Matthew Lim Photography check out the full  blog post

One of our favorite engagement sessions by Matthew Lim Photography check out the full blog post

How do we choose a wedding venue?

If you read a few of our posts here, you’ll quickly see a pattern of us recommending to determine your budget before booking your wedding venue. Okay, we know budget isn’t a fun topic right off the bat but trust us when we say how important it is because it will determine how much you can spend in other areas of your wedding such as food, alcohol and entertainment. Comparing amenities and the amount of access you will have to the space is another important factor, a local wedding planner can help you easily compare and narrow down the search. Lastly, sometimes the venue search simply comes down to just knowing how you feel when you’re onsite. Hop over to Butte County Weddings for a list of venues!

What’s the average wedding cost?

This question is a little harder to answer because there can be so many factors from the size of the guest count, time of year, style of the wedding, food & alcohol etc. However you can read these posts about budget breakdowns: Service Fees // Alcohol Budget // Catering Budget

Do we really need a DJ/Emcee?

A DJ or a band with an emcee will make a huge difference in guest experience because they will have an idea of what is happening next, and the DJ will be able to interact & read the crowd on what music is keeping everyone on the dance floor. Now, if your wedding is 20 guests enjoying a 5 course meal in a more intimate setting you may be able to find a more suitable music solution such as an acoustic musician if dancing isn’t the main focus.

It feels like there is so much to do, where do we start?

It can definitely feel overwhelming when there is so much noise, from Pinterest and Instagram to wedding websites giving you the daily countdown.. but understanding what is a priority to you as a couple comes first. We’d say that meeting with a wedding planner for a no-obligation consultation right from the start can help you get a sense of the local wedding scene and we can speak from experience that we are always happy to point you in the right direction even if you decide that you want to do the bulk of the initial planning yourself.

Remember, this is a fun & happy occasion so stay true to yourself and to your partner during the planning process. Life does go on after a wedding but our focus is to help you make the most of this amazing chapter in your lives!

~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | 2018 In Review ~ The 530 Bride

If you would have told us this time last year that 2018 would fly by as fast as it has, we couldn’t have believed it! Being a part of each of these incredible celebrations was the biggest blessing, and we feel honored that our clients trusted our team to take the work off of their plates in order to bring all of the details together.

We will definitely be posting some individual blog stories about each of these events as we continue to receive images, but we thought it would be fun to share a little from each wedding all in one post!

The-530-Bride_2018review1
the-530-bride_2018review2
2018-12-31_0003.jpg
The-530-bride_2018review4
2019-01-09_0003.jpg
2018-12-31_0005.jpg
caitlin-and-john_the-530-bride
2018-12-31_0006.jpg
2019-01-09_0002.jpg
the-530-bride_2018review5

Each of these couples had their own love story, their own vision for their day and each wedding had it’s own magical moments that we feel so honored to have witnessed. We’re seriously hooked on weddings, so we can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!

It goes without saying that a successful wedding requires teamwork and communication, so we want to thank all of the wedding pro’s who work so hard for their clients. Stay tuned for the full posts and for a vendor spotlight on the incredible friends we work alongside throughout the wedding season.

Happy New Years & Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Elopement Planning

We’re so excited about all of the recent engagements and that we have the opportunity to work with couples with such a range of vision, from a large rustic ranch wedding to an intimate evening for 40 guests. Over the last few years we have been seeing more unique elopements and love when couples can really hone in on the experience they want to have without feeling any pressures to make plans outside of that vision.

If you can see yourself with your fiance and maybe a handful of your closest family members or friends and tying the knot in a location that speaks to you, then an elopement is really a wonderful option. We would love to chat with you about your ideas and help you create a magical memorable day with an incredible team of vendors to handle all of the details for you from photography, florals, beauty and more.
~ Happy Planning!

Northern California Wedding Planner | Logistic's For The Win

We've all heard that old saying - "practice makes perfect;" well when it comes to weddings we think it is the logistics that save the day! 

When you book your wedding venue or even when planning a wedding in your own back yard, you are taking a canvas and filling it with tables, chairs, DJ equipment, dance floor, buffet tables, a bar and much more.  Then the task becomes designing the space so that it is not only beautiful, but so that it is nice and open - no bottle necks of traffic at the bar or the buffet line and that everyone can see the events going on throughout the evening.  

Adding tools, features and resources to our planning packages not only improves efficiency on the backend but we know it gives couples the extra reassurance that all of the details are being managed.  When we sit down with our full service and design clients we are able to build the experience with them from day one!

floorplanvisual3.jpeg

This process takes vision, and critical thinking skills because we aren't always working with a cookie cutter space.  We also have to consider power supply, lighting, level ground and the logistics for catering to prep and serve the food.  Sometimes we sketch the space and give an outline of the set-up after walking through the space, and getting to hear more about your vision.  Then we can apply these sketches and the couple's wish into a more detailed floor plan design that we can share with all of the vendors ahead of time. 

globalview.jpeg
floorplanvisual2.jpeg
floorplanvisual1.jpeg

Need to figure out how many extra uplights to add on with your DJ? Let's see those lights in action and plan out your space accordingly.  Visualize where the guests will be when the reception is underway!

floorplanwlights.jpeg

Aside from the planning of the space we also build your timeline so that you can make the most of your day.  We don't want to waste any precious moments due to something that could be prevented such as transportation problems, lighting or venue access.  

Our couples can log into their planning dashboard and have 24/7 access to their timeline, guest list, budget, design studio and planning checklist among many other helpful tools!

aisleplannerdashboard3.jpeg

When your guest count changes so does your rental order, catering invoice, floor plan and transportation schedule.  Having a wedding planner on board to communicate with all of the event partners you have booked will save you time and ultimately give you a smoother wedding experience overall.  

Are you considering hiring a wedding planner for your special day? We would love to learn more about your vision and help you create the logistics to make it all happen!

~ Happy Planning! ~ 

Veronica Blog Post.jpeg

Northern California Wedding Planner | Real Talk ~ Budget Breakdown

With the recent news of Style Me Pretty closing it had us thinking a lot about where couples find inspiration for planning their wedding.  If you are engaged and starting to dive into the rentals, decor and design aspects of your wedding you might feel unsure of pricing or how to even go about putting together the overall look.  We're going to break down the budget of a wedding reception and talk real numbers!

The 530 Bride _ Real Talk - Budget Breakdown.png

Let's take two side by side wedding tables for example and see if anything jumps out.  At first glance, they are both round guest tables with white linens.  But the full drop linen on the left is double the price of the linen on the right.  

Will your reception chairs be pre-set at the tables or are you using the same set of chairs for ceremony and moving them to reception?  Consider the cost of doubling the set of chairs vs upgrading to full drop linens and see which is a priority to you.  In some cases couples choose to use standard linens on the tables and only have one set of chairs so just make sure you have a plan for getting chairs moved over. 

Now, let's move on to your place settings and visualize what you would like to have on your tables.  The first question we would have is if your caterer will be providing china and flatware or if they use heavy chinette disposables.  If the caterer gives you the option or you are considering renting dishes just make sure to work out the numbers for rentals, and labor for bussing the dishes.

Image: Matthew Lim Photography 

Image: Matthew Lim Photography 

So let's ball park the numbers for a wedding reception of 150 guests assuming we are using round guest tables that seat 8 guests and basic polyester linens. *Keep in mind the pricing is based on average rental pricing in Northern California and it can vary quite a bit depending on the company* 

148 guests + the couple

1 48 inch round wood table (sweetheart table) 8.00 ea
1  108 inch round full drop polyester linen (sweetheart table) 10.95 ea
19 60 inch round wood tables  8.95 ea
19 120 inch full drop polyester linen 12.95 ea
150 White resin padded folding chairs 2.50 ea
150 China package (dinner plate, flatware, water goblet, wine glass and champagne glass) 2.60 ea

This would bring us to $27 per person and a subtotal of $3,996 for the guest tables and then $4,014.25 including the sweetheart table + linen before tax, delivery and maintenance/wear & tear fees (typically 10%) We would also want to add a welcome table, buffet tables, bar tables, dessert tables etc along with linens for all of your service tables. 

Depending on if you are renting through a full service rental company or your caterer, you will also want to factor in set-up and breakdown fees for ceremony and reception items.    
 

Image: Bloom Portraiture 

Image: Bloom Portraiture 

Choosing a caterer is a big decision not only because it is such a large portion of your wedding budget but because choosing the package can determine the service level for the event.  If you envision passed appetizers, staff going around to keep the beverage glasses full, having champagne poured at the tables and staff to handle cake cutting then you will want to look into a full service caterer.  {For more tips on choosing a caterer check out our recent blog post.}

If you are choosing a buffet and would like to keep costs down, consider using heavy chinette disposables to reduce the rental costs and labor for bussing tables.   You can also have stationary appetizers instead of passed as it will be less labor intensive. 

Hopefully this was helpful to see some line items but if you need some assistance with getting your overall budget together, feel free to reach out and we would be happy to chat!

~ Happy Planning ~ 



 

Northern California Wedding Planner | Engagement Session Giveaway

You still have time to enter into the Engagement Session Giveaway by Julia Lukash Photography!  Head over to our Instgram and follow the giveaway instructions, entries are valid until Sunday 4/22 at 5 pm.

We've been swooning over Julia's work since we first met years ago and we cannot wait to work with her for upcoming weddings.  We love Julia's fun personality, and her passion for photography.  You can check out her website to see more of her work or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.  
 

Don't forget to enter for this awesome giveaway, or feel free to share with other engaged couples!

~ Happy Planning!~ 

Northern California Wedding Planner | Bella Rosa Farms Wedding - Amy & Ryan

Simple, Rustic, Chic.  Bella Rosa Farms was the perfect setting for Amy and Ryan's wedding day and you could really see how their guests enjoyed the relaxed venue location.  We had so much fun working with Amy and Ryan, and seeing this new chapter for their family.  Both the bride and groom work in the medical field so their schedules were very busy, making it much easier to have us work directly with their wedding vendors and finalize the essential details. 

We had a chance to work with Matthew Lim Photography again and it was a blast, not only does Matt have a super easy going personality but he has an incredible eye for lighting, emotion and the smallest details.  It was Matt's brilliant eye that discovered the incredible lighting on the bocce ball court and is our all time favorite couple's shot at Bella Rosa!    

the-530-bride_bella-rosa-farms-wedding_amyandryan
amyandryan_bella-rosa-farms-wedding
chico-wedding-planner_the-530-bride_bellarosa

After the reception guests enjoyed chips and salsa during the cocktail hour and for dinner there was a full taco bar spread by Aca Taco.  The cookie shoppe cookies were a big hit after dinner!

bella-rosa-wedding_fall-the-530-bride
We love this epic shot on the bocce ball court at Bella Rosa by Matthew Lim Photography 

We love this epic shot on the bocce ball court at Bella Rosa by Matthew Lim Photography 

Time flies, it doesn't seem like long ago we were planning all of these details together! 

Thanks to all of the event partners who contributed to this wonderful wedding day for Amy and Ryan: 

Photography: Matthew Lim Photography // Venue: Bella Rosa Farms // Coordination: The 530 Bride // Catering: Aca Taco // Florals: Chico Florist // DJ: Mike and Donna // Dessert: Cookie Shoppe // Rentals: Chico Party Rentals 

Northern California Wedding Planner | The Palms Chico - Nikki & Justin

Woo! We are excited to share the images from Nikki and Justin's wedding day at The Palms in Chico, it was a really fun wedding! Thanks so much to Essence Photography for sending over the gallery, we've been in la la land ever since!

chico-wedding-planner_the-palms-chico
the-palms-chico-fall-wedding_the-530-bride
chico-wedding-planner_the-530-bride_the-palms

If you need us we'll just be dreaming of those cupcakes! Check out all of the event partners who contributed to Nikki & Justin's wedding day, congrats again to these newlyweds!

Photographer: Essence Photography // Venue: The Palms, Chico // Coordination: The 530 Bride // Catering: Kinders // Cake: Cinful Desserts // DJ: Northern California Productions
// Florals: North Bloom 

Northern California Wedding Planner | Bucket List - Couples Choice Awards

Over coffee we like to chat about the "some days" and the dreams we have of going on a planner's retreat or designing a wedding on a beautiful island somewhere - you know, like a bucket list of sorts. 

updates in 2018 www.the530bride.com (1).png

These last few months we've felt so incredibly blessed to have experienced the excitement of meeting goals, everything from finally finding an office space, growing a team, connecting and networking with other event professionals, but most of all receiving feedback from our couples.  

We made our number one goal focusing on the client experience and learning where we can help couples alleviate any undue stress and improve on the overall planning process.  Asking for feedback and learning from it, after every single wedding.

Thank you!!

the-530-bride_couples-choice-award-2018

We met a major milestone in our business with the Wedding Wire Couple's choice awards for 2018 and it was a bucket list moment for sure!

The topic came up in one of our wedding industry groups and we thought it would be fun to list a few bucket list ideas for 2018: 

  1. Wedding on Water - Maybe one of the river cruise, or heck a yacht why not (just putting it out there) 
  2. Military/Law Enforcement - We would love to be a part of a special day for a very special hero out there who has done so much for our country and community, so if you know someone who is planning a wedding and has served or is serving in the military or in law enforcement please send them our way! 
  3. Pop-up wedding - Okay how cool would it be to get to assist multiple couples with a petite wedding just right for them and their intimate group of guests?! We are going to make this happen!

We'd love to hear about a fun bucket list idea you have or that you share as a couple! Now, we are going to go look at some cruises or travel websites for that retreat idea!

~ Happy Planning!~

Northern California Wedding Planner | Hello 2018!

How was your New Year, can you believe it is 2018? I know, we're already almost half way through January but it still feels weird to write 2018 and 2019 dates on our calendar.  Here's what we've been up to since the first of the year!

updates in 2018 www.the530bride.com.png

1. Logo refresh! 

Thanks to Nerissa, our new in-house graphic designer!

Thanks to Nerissa, our new in-house graphic designer!

2. We grew ~ Formal Introductions of each of our new team members coming soon! 

A few of our newest additions to our team after rocking set-up of a beautiful winter wedding at Patrick Ranch.

A few of our newest additions to our team after rocking set-up of a beautiful winter wedding at Patrick Ranch.

3. Featured on Cake and Lace - Romantic Barrel Room Styled Shoot

4. First Wedding of 2018 ~ Congrats to Cambria & Tyler! 

We can't wait to see the beautiful images captured by Morgan Chantelle Photography!

We can't wait to see the beautiful images captured by Morgan Chantelle Photography!

5. Checked off a major goal! Your feedback is so important to us!

the-530-bride_couples-choice-award_wedding-wire

Thank you to much to all of our amazing couple's who shared about their experience, it truly means the world to us knowing that we made an impact on such an important day! 

6. Now offering Wedding Stationery & Signage Design!

We are so excited to offer custom wedding invitations, stationery & design services for couples looking to create something unique and personal for their upcoming wedding. Having an in-house graphic designer (The talented Nerissa Quinn!) allows us to sit down together with couples and work through the design process to bring out the elements that matter most to you, that's the good stuff! {Photo by AnnaMae Photography}

We are so excited to offer custom wedding invitations, stationery & design services for couples looking to create something unique and personal for their upcoming wedding. Having an in-house graphic designer (The talented Nerissa Quinn!) allows us to sit down together with couples and work through the design process to bring out the elements that matter most to you, that's the good stuff! {Photo by AnnaMae Photography}

7.  Wedding Planner Intensive Course - 8 weeks of learning the latest best practices for wedding planners.

Wedprenuer-academy_The-530-bride

8. Better Together - We've Officially Partnered!

We've officially partnered, so The 530 Bride will be the force of two planners and a full event team.  We want our couples to know that we have them covered and always have a team approach to our weddings.  This was a dream of ours and to finally make it official is beyond exciting.  ~ Happy Dance!

We've officially partnered, so The 530 Bride will be the force of two planners and a full event team.  We want our couples to know that we have them covered and always have a team approach to our weddings.  This was a dream of ours and to finally make it official is beyond exciting.  ~ Happy Dance!

9. Putting the finishing touches on our office space

We added some of our favorite photos by Matthew Lim Photography from a recent wedding, and will be sharing more photos of our office space soon!

We added some of our favorite photos by Matthew Lim Photography from a recent wedding, and will be sharing more photos of our office space soon!

10. We had a blast at the Chico Bridal Show!

the-530-bride_chico-bridal-show
the-530-bride_2018-chico-bridal-show
the-530-bride_delphine-chico-bridal-show
the-530-bride-planning_stationery

It has been an exciting first few weeks of the year to say the least, but our focus is to continually improve the experience for our couples as they plan their wedding.  We've invested in education for our team and for keeping up with the best practices in the planning industry.  

We know it is going to be an amazing year, stay tuned for more fun updates! 

~ Happy Planning! ~

Veronica Blog Post.jpeg

Northern California Wedding Planner | We're Sort of Psychic

Alright so we can't predict the weather (wouldn't that be nice) but we can steer couples away from red flags during their planning process.  Maybe it doesn't come from a cosmic super power but let's call it "wedding planner intuition."  

wedding-planners-are-psychic_The-530-bride

From a bride ordering her custom wedding dress online to a "friend of a friend" DJ'ing your wedding... we try to steer couples away from these potential catastrophe's because it is simply not worth it for you to save a bit in one area and cost yourself the headache or disappointment in the long run.  

It happens to all of us.  We see a good price or an opportunity to save money, maybe even an impulse shopping decision.  I myself was guilty over Black Friday when cruising on Amazon Prime I saw some beautiful sequin linens that were so beautiful in the photos I just had to have them.  So I added them to my cart and right as I was about to check out I saw another listing from the same shop and looked through some of their other items.  That's when I started reading the reviews from customers who unfortunately received the items that looked nothing like they did in the picture.  Not only that, they didn't match the measurements of the linens listed.  Even if it wasn't a wedding day, lets say it was a birthday party or even a gathering that you are hosting and you are so excited about how this linen is going to tie everything together.  You receive it and it's missing sequins or looks like it was sewn by a blind monkey! Now you are rushing to find a plan B.

amazon.jpeg

What is my point? Rushing to find a plan B when it comes to your wedding is unnecessary stress that you don't need.  We can only encourage you to take our advice when it comes to hiring professionals and quality product that we know is going to meet your expectation.  Why risk a years worth of planning and organizing a timeline when your friend of a friend DJ shows up and pretty much thinks they are there to party instead of following a timeline or making announcements to keep everything running smoothly.  As a wedding planner, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are trying to do multiple jobs at once and still not able to fix the couple's disappointment due to another vendor failing to do what they were hired to do.

So when you hire a wedding planner you are also hiring someone who has learned from years of experience and understands how to avoid these red flags.  We've learned from our own challenges, and we recommendations on professionals who we know and trust to go above an beyond to make a couple's day amazing.

Veronica Blog Post.jpeg

~ Happy Planning & Happy Holiday shopping -
p.s Read the reviews first!!
XoXo - Veronica

Northern California Wedding Planner | The Top 3 Scariest Wedding Tales

In true Halloween fashion, we've gathered up the three scariest tales for wedding days and hope to help couples avoid these coming true on their wedding day!

scariest wedding tales_the-530-bride

The Uncle Joe's

Despite the innocent appearing thought of having your friend's uncle Joe DJ, Photograph or even provide floral arrangements for your wedding, it can turn down right frightful very quickly.  This particular Uncle Joe claims to have over 10 years experience and "knows what he is doing."  What makes this so scary is that he isn't sharing what he is doing with anyone else, so no one is on the same page about what time to expect him there to set up, what he needs or what exactly he is providing.  Then since it's a friend of the family or your friend's uncle you feel between a rock and a hard place to complain or discuss your frustrations.  

The Mysterious No Shows

Two weeks before your wedding, you are chasing down RSVP's and making sure everyone has their hotel rooms booked (because they didn't book one under your room block..) and as you finally get these numbers confirmed with your caterer and rentals you feel like you are in the home stretch.  

Your cousin decides she wants to also get her hair done and you send a message to your hair stylist four days before the wedding to add one more to the headcount.  Oddly, you don't hear back but chalk it up to being a busy week and you move on to other tasks like making sure you have enough votive candles for each table and that your seating chart is spot on.   Fast forward to the morning of the wedding and you look at the clock, the hairstylist should have been here 20 minutes ago to set up. 

Someone confirmed with the hairstylist right? She knows which hotel you are staying at right?
We won't get into the gory details but without a timeline that has been distributed to each of the vendors and confirmed, how are you certain that everyone knows where to be and when to arrive? This is where a wedding planner comes in to play as we are checking in with your event team 6 weeks out and confirming once a timeline has been approved that all details are good to go.

The Death of The Timeline 

This last tale is one that has plagued couples in the past but can be easily avoided.  No one vendor runs the show, all have to work together to ensure that your day is smooth and that you make the most of it! So when we hear stories of the ceremony not starting on time because of hair and make-up, or dinner being late because the photography took longer to get all of the family shots, wedding party & and/or sunset etc we instantly ask *what did the timeline say? 
While a timeline is always meant as a guide and we don't force things to happen down to the minute, we do expect that all event partners are working together and that can only happen when all are following the same timeline.  

Don't let the sun go down and miss your sunset photos because toasts run 20 minutes longer than expected, plan ahead and consider who you would like to have toast then give this to the DJ.   

The moral of the story is to always hire professionals, have a point person *ahem* a wedding planner and discuss your wishes to everyone ahead of time.  You can have your dream wedding as long as you clearly tell others and plan to make this dream happen! 

~ Happy Halloween & Happy Planning~ 

Northern California Wedding Planner | Pricing & Value

How to Plan Your Wedding While on a Budget

Technology has not only changed the way that we communicate but also the way we live our every day lives.  We rely on our phones, devices, social media sites and apps to deliver the information that we are looking for.  Whether you are researching homes in your area for future home buying, or planning a weekend trip or even grocery shopping; you will make decisions based on the desired outcome/experience, cost and value.

the530bride_pricing-vs-value

As a consumer we see pricing all day, every day.  Do you choose to fill up at a gas station because of it's proximity to your home or workplace, or is it based on the price per gallon? Maybe the staff is friendlier or they carry your favorite beverage.  

How does this relate to the wedding world? Well you are still very much a consumer when it comes to planning your wedding, so when you are starting to research things like "How much do weddings cost" or doing a Google search by area to see the options for DJ's, Wedding Venues, etc in your city etc you may be already forming your opinions or perceived value before ever meeting with the business. 

Even if you decide not to hire a wedding coordinator, Please, please, please use caution when booking services off of Facebook buy%2Fsell groups from people who are throwing their hat into the ring for the cheapest pri.png

We work closely with the event partners that make up the local wedding industry, so we see more than the prices we see the people behind the service. The husband and wife team that provides amazing photo and video while making their couples relax and laugh during their day, the baker who makes a whole new recipe to ensure that the bride with a gluten allergy has the cake of her dreams.  The rental companies who launder, iron & press every linen that goes out their door to make sure it is picture perfect for every event.  There are years of experience, so much wisdom and even more love that is poured in from every angle of a wedding day. 

Our couples can trust that when we refer them to event partners that we recommend it is because of our experiences with them and their reputation for quality, not because of any special discounts, kick-backs or because they are the least expensive.  Budgets are a real thing, but it is extremely important to look at your overall budget and decide where to prioritize your spending.  This doesn't mean ask for discounts or haggle prices, this means being willing to have less coverage in one area and allocating this to another based on your specific priorities.  

Even if you decide not to hire a wedding coordinator, Please, please, please use caution when booking services off of Facebook buy/sell groups from people who are throwing their hat into the ring for the cheapest price.  Your wedding day is not a time that you want to learn the lesson of "getting what you pay for."

Here are our top tips for planning your wedding while on a budget:
1. Set a Budget - That's right, if you are on a "budget" you should know what that budget looks like.  If you are comfortable spending $1200 on flowers make sure that it fits into your budget and how that fits with your rentals, catering or bar funds etc.

2. Keep Your Guest List in Check - No surprise co-workers or inviting the mail man until you have this guest list locked in. Remember your guest count is tied to costs for catering, bar, rentals & decor and sometimes even the price for your venue.  

3. Hire Professionals - Saving $200 on your photography is great, except when the photographer you booked off of Craigslist doesn't have experience with retrieving images of a corrupted SD card or didn't plan adequately for travel time and shows up late.  Look for insured, experienced & capable event partners who you feel can provide the wedding day experience you have envisioned.  Consider making smaller monthly payments so that as you get closer to your wedding date you have paid the balances down.

4. Create Focal Points - Use your decor and your rental budget dollars wisely.  Create a back drop behind your sweetheart table or design an interactive guest area that provides a focal point for guests rather than trying to "over decorate" your entire venue.

5. Choose Guest Experience vs "Stuff" - When you choose a photobooth you are creating an experience and an interactive favor/keepsake for your guests.  We love monogramed coasters as much as anyone else but at the end of the night there will be a lot more coasters left lying around than the photobooth pictures because guests hold on to them.  Glassware is another thing that we see go to waste because guests leave them behind and now you have 120 wine glasses with your name on them that will sit in your garage when you could have allocated that towards something else.

~ Happy Planning!~ 

Northern California Wedding Planner | A Wedding Planner's Monday

In the wedding industry, a Saturday isn't really a Saturday.. and Sundays are the time to recover from a 12-14 hour work day.  So what does a Monday look like in the life of a wedding planner?  

It's Monday, knock out your to-do list and feel good about the week ahead! Hey, we won't judge you if you finished a pot of coffee to yourself today! 

It's Monday, knock out your to-do list and feel good about the week ahead! Hey, we won't judge you if you finished a pot of coffee to yourself today! 

We'd love to say that it starts with waking up like a rock star and preparing for a week of J-Lo like awesomeness head set and all, but let's keep it real... we wake up with a messy bun just like everyone else! Can you say coffee?

What is it like as a wedding planner? We get asked a lot actually, so here is a snippet for you! Often our Monday's start with returning emails, sending additional information to couple's who have inquired about our planning services over the weekend and then updating our social media. (if you haven't followed us on IG yet, please do! @530bride) 

We check in with our planning clients, making sure they know what's happening next and what we will be working on this week.  Next we head out to return any rentals from our events over the weekend from linens, floral vases, cake stands etc.  

In the afternoons we catch a podcast from our favorite Wedding Industry groups and work on some housekeeping items like updating our website, adding details to our outlines and checklists and taking time to communicate with our team as a post-wedding brief.

After the day is in full swing we enjoy seeing sneak peeks and blog posts from the talented photographers from the recent weddings we've been a part of.  Like this recent blog post from Jen and J.D's day captured by the uber talented Katelyn Owens! 

Katelyn Owens  Jen and JD

What does your Monday look like? We hope you have a fabulous week! 
~ Happy Planning!~

Northern California Wedding Planner | Chico Wedding ~ Anndria & Razz

This wedding was fun from the moment we met Anndria, her laugh and high energy personality kept things light and we were always excited to see what else she had crafted for her wedding day (this girl can rock the Cricut machine!) 

anndria-razz_billings-photography

We can't wait to see their full gallery, but you can check out their amazing vendor team below for more information! 

Photographer: Billings Photography
Venue: White Ranch Events, Chico
Florist: Little Red Hen Floral and More
Catering: Roots Catering 
Cake: Cinful Desserts
DJ: The Wedding DJ 
Planning: The 530 Bride